Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Concerns over Bullying Prevention Legislation: "Draconianism is no solution."

A meeting held on June 11 in the Upper House Members' Office Building examined the bill concerning promotion of measures for prevention of bullying and other school harassments. The bill drafted by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komei Party was submitted to the Lower House on May 17. It was enacted on June 21, after several rounds of working-level consultations were hastily held in a short period of time. In the meeting, titled "Is the Bullying Prevention Measures Law really the solution?", lawyers pointed out various problems of the bill. HOZUMI Masashi (photo) said that the bill regards bullying simply as conflicts between bullies and their targets, failing to capture complicated nature of bullying. He was also pointed out that the proposed measures including early involvement of police, disciplinary punishments and suspensions might lead to draconianism. OGASAWARA Saiko emphasized the danger of the bill that is designed in the way of "quality control." The bill completely lacks in reflection on fundamental causes that forced children into bullying and other wrongdoings, she said. (By YUMOTO Masanori)



Youths Raise Voice against PM Abe. "Constitutional Revision? No kidding!"

A protest action against the constitutional revision and other policies Prime Minister ABE Shinzo's administration took place on June 8 in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The participants gathered in a small square near the railway station late in the afternoon, holding signs, flags and musical instruments. They voiced opposition to the overall vision presented by the Abe administration and to respective policies regarding nuclear power generation, constitutional revision, U.S. Military bases in Okinawa, Trans Pacific Partnership and increasing poverty. They called for actions by individual citizens to create an alternative future and solidarity with the world. The administration's policies are extremely problematic, their proposal for the constitutional revision is harmful, we must raise our voices to change course, said DJ Tetsu, the representative of the demonstration organizers. "We say No! to Abe 'cause he destroys the constitution, 'cause he deprives us of freedom, 'cause the gap between the rich and the poor will widen," they chanted in rap music style. (By OZAWA Kuniko)

8日、「安倍のつくる未来はいらない!改憲なんて冗談じゃない!」という集会とデモに参加しました。東京・新宿のアルタ前には午後5時過ぎから人が集ま り、いつの間にかプラカードや旗や楽器を持った人たちの集団になっていました。原発、改憲、沖縄、TPP、貧困などなど、安倍政権の目指す「未来像」は全 体的に間違っているし、そんな「未来」なんて来てほしくない!私たちの行動が未来をつくる、一人一人の声は世界とつながっているとよびかけていました。よ びかけ人を代表してテツさんが、安倍政権の問題は山積み、改憲は改悪だ、声を上げようとよびかけました。そしてラップ調のコールで「安倍はヤダ」「憲法変 えるからヤダ」「自由がなくなるからヤダ」「格差が拡がるからヤダ」など訴えました。(尾澤邦子)

Civic Organization Aims at Eradication of Wrongful Convictions

The inaugural meeting of "Say No! To Wrongful Convictions: Citizens' Council (SNOW)" took place on June 8 in Shibuya, Tokyo. More than 120 people attended the meeting and the venue was filled with the excitement. Not-guilty rulings were handed down in the retrials for the Ashikaga Case, the Fukawa Case and the Tepco Employee Murder Case in the last two years, but why, in the first place, the accused of these cases were convicted for crimes they didn't commit?  The panel discussion in the meeting highlighted corruption in the judiciary system and fundamental defects underlaying in the criminal investigation process, naming such facts as the promotion of the judge who wrongfully convicted the accused in the Tepco Employee Case and the unwillingness of unrepentant prosecutors and police for video recording of interrogations. The panel also criticized mass media for failing to fulfill the role of watchdogs. The new organization aims at establishing a network of supporters of various wrongful conviction cases and advocating for improvement of the judiciary system based on the frame of reference and common sense of ordinary people. SAKURAI Shoji, one of the recently acquitted victims of the Fukawa wrongful conviction case, gave a speech in the meeting. "Prosecutors involved in my case publicly say that the acquittal simply reflects the fact that they were unable to verify the crime. They still would not accept my innocence or admit their wrongdoings. I will never forgive such people. I'll do my best to gain many people's support to our endeavor," he said. (By M)*Photo:Panel members


8日、東京・渋谷で「なくせ冤罪!市民評議会」設立総会が開かれた。120人を超える人々が詰めかけ、会場は熱気に包まれた。足利事件・布川事件・東電OL事件などこの2年間で「再審無罪」が相次いだが、なぜ冤罪はなくならないのか。総会のパネル討論で指摘されたのは、「ゴビンダ冤罪判 決を出した裁判官が栄転して いる」「検察・警察は反省せず取り調べの可視化にも消極的」など、司法の腐敗と根本的欠陥が指摘された。またそれを批判しないメディアのあり方にも及んだ。市民評議会の設立は個別事件の枠をこえたネットワークをつくり、司法制度を市民感覚を活かして変えていこうという試み。 布川事件冤罪被害者の桜井昌司さんは挨拶に立ち、「検察官は今でも犯罪を立証できなかっただけと公言している。反省していない。だからこそ絶対に許さず、この運動を広げたい」と決意を述べた。(M)

"Don't leave our future to the merchants of death!" Citizens Protest against Japanese-French Partnership in Nuclear Export

French President Francois Hollande visited Japan for 3 days from June 6. He had a meeting with Prime Minister ABE Shinzo on June 7. Major issues discussed between the two leaders included strengthening the Japanese-French partnership in nuclear power-generation technologies, particularly in promotion of the export of nuclear reactors. The weekly anti-nuclear protest on Friday in Kasumigaseki and the Diet area took place in the evening of the day of the bilateral summit. Thousands of protesters raised their voice against Japanese-French cooperation on developing and exporting nuclear power plant and defence technologies. They also called for repeal of the restart plan of idle reactors, suspension of the operating reactor in Oi and decommissioning of all reactors as usual Friday protests.

 Citizens' Letter to President Hollande Says "NON!" to Bilateral Nuclear Partnership

Prior to the Hollande's visit to Japan, a group of Japanese residents in Paris sent a letter to the president, demanding him to honor his campaign pledge to reduce the dependency on nuclear power to 50% from the current 75% by 2025 and close down the aging Fessenheim Nuclear Power Plant. They are members of the Yosomono (outsiders) Network France, the French chapter of the group of Japanese residents in Europe opposing to nuclear power. *Image: the logo of the Yosomono Network France





"No Nuclear Power Plants, Abe Shinzo!" Energetic protesters surround the Diet

Two anti-nukes rallies participated by thousands of people respectively were held in the afternoon of June 2 in Tokyo. The participants of the rallies later joined together in the anti-nukes Diet surrounding action organized by the Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes. The Diet area was filled with a huge crowd of protesters that had rarely been seen in recent weeks. After the surrounding action that took place in the late afternoon, a large rally was held in front of the main gate of the Diet building in the evening. Activists from various places across the country and Diet members including former Prime Minister KAN Naoto made speeches. Music and chants followed.The protesters were of a wide range of ages. Many of them had signs and other things that express in various original ways their strong desire for the world without nuclear power plants. It is sometimes said these days that the anti-nukes movement has lost its momentum, but the scale of the action and the enthusiasm of the participants clearly showed the power of the anti-nukes movement in Japan that has taken root firmly in the society.By M
*Photo: a sign in the shape of a nuclear reactor with "No Nuclear Power Plants, Abe Shinzo!" written on it    YouTube video (in front of the Diet)   YouTube video (the rally in Shiba Koen Park)  


62日午後、脱原発を求める集会が東京の明治公園と芝公園で開かれ、夕方からは首都圏反原発連合の呼びかけた「反原発☆国会大包囲」に合流した。国会周辺は久しぶりにびっしり人の波で埋まった。16時からの国会包囲行動に続いて、17時からは正門前大集会が開かれた。各地の反原発運動のアピール、菅直人氏ら国会議員の訴え、それに歌・ラップ・コールなどが続いた。 参加者は若者から年配者まで幅広く、「原発いらない」の思いを表現したプラカードや工夫したアピールグッズが目立った。この日の盛り上がりは、脱原発運動が収まるどころか、持続した運動として、深く定着していることをはっきり示していた。(M)